Oakland, CA December 6, 2013-- A malware scam is posing as an award email from Microsoft. Don't be fooled into downloading the attachment. It's not a letter of congratulations as the email claims; it's a virus.
How the Scam Works:
You receive an email message that appears to be from Microsoft. The email says you were randomly selected as a winner of the "2013 Microsoft Edinburgh Products Anniversary Award." There's an attachment, which the message claims is a letter of congratulations.
When you click on the file, you find that it isn't a congratulatory note after all. It's really malware that will download to your computer. Typically, these viruses phish for personal and banking information on your machine.
The email above is just one version of this scam. A popular variation claims that you won a lottery conducted by Microsoft and you need to pay a fee to collect your prize. In another version, the recipient is urged to claim the money by replying to the email with personal information.
Tips to Avoid Email/Sweepstakes Scams:
Spot common email and lottery scams by watching for the following warning signs:
- You can't win a contest you didn't enter: You need to buy a ticket or complete an application to enter a contest or lottery. Be very careful if you've been selected as a winner for a contest you have never heard of.
- The lottery is overseas: Sweepstakes scams, such as the one above, often claim to take place overseas, frequently in the UK.
- Don't believe what you see. Scammers make emails appear to come from a reputable source. Just because it looks like a legitimate business email address does not mean it's safe.
- Be wary of unexpected emails that contain links or attachments: As always, do not click on links or open the files in unfamiliar emails.
- Watch for poor grammar and spelling. Scam emails often are riddled with typos.
For more information about scams, see BBB's Scam Stopper. Also, check out Microsoft's "Safety and Security Center" website for more information about scams and malware.
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